A pink flower with yellow center and green leaves.

The Flu & Echinacea

Echinacea prevents the flu virus from being able to bind to the surface of our cells. In addition to this Echinacea modulates the immune systems response to the flu by decreasing the inflammatory cytokines, which are the cause of the debilitating flu symptoms that can keep us in bed for days or even weeks, in some more severe infections.  

Echinacea extracts show a significant ability to inhibit H1N1 and H5N1 binding to host cell receptors via hemagglutination thus interfering with the viral entry into cells. [1]

In a randomized, placebo controlled trial of 95 subjects the treatment group was given six cups of Echinacea tea at the onset of flu symptoms and at the end of the study it was determined that Echinacea significantly decreased the duration of the flu compared to the control group. [2]

In another study the constituents of Echinacea were analyzed for their ability to alter the inflammatory cytokines and chemokines associated with H1N1 influenza A infection.  The authors concluded that E. purpurea has the potential for “…alleviating the symptoms and pathology associated with infections with influenza A.† [3]

In my next post I will be discussing a summary of all my recommendations as well as giving you the directions on how to make Dr. Mitchell’s Viral Knockout Tea.


1.         Pleschka, S., et al., Anti-viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV). Virol J, 2009. 6: p. 197.

2.         Lindenmuth, G.F. and E.B. Lindenmuth, The efficacy of echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Altern Complement Med, 2000. 6(4): p. 327-34.

3.         Cech, N.B., et al., Echinacea and its alkylamides: effects on the influenza A-induced secretion of cytokines, chemokines, and PGE(2) from RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells. Int Immunopharmacol, 2010. 10(10): p. 1268-78.